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Tiger Leaping Gorge Transportation

From Lijiang: Morning buses to Qiaotou (桥头), ¥35, 2hrs, leave from the bus station, stopping to pick up passengers at the new Southern Bus station down the road. Get to Bus station from city centre by bus no.13. Make sure you only pay for going to Qiaotou if you plan to hike the upper gorge. They might sell you a more expensive ticket to "Tiger Leaping Gorge" but that would take you past the start of the trail.

If you are arriving in Lijiang by train, it is only a ¥15 taxi ride to get to the main bus station from the train station. The public bus is also an option but requires transferring onto another bus. Avoid the private minivans waiting in the train station parking lot that will ask for ¥400-¥500 to drive you directly to Qiaotou.

To/from Qiaotou/Walnut Garden: Minivans do the 45min trip between either end of the trek. The cost should be ¥120 for the entire van. Drivers will ask for more. In Walnut Garden, Tibet Guest House provides transport at RMB350/van (fit 7 people) directly to Lijiang. Sean's also offer transport to Lijiang/Shangri-la. Tina's GH also currently offers a shuttle bus direct to Lijiang or Shangrila at RMB55 departing at 3:30PM. So there's really no reason why you need to travel to Qiaotou just to catch a separate bus/van to go to Lijiang/Shangri-la, if you plan to hike the middle TLG. Transportation from Walnut Garden to Jane's, ask Tibet Guest House : ¥20 each (Feb 2015), same price than the shuttle from Woddy's. Then from Qiatou, it's easy to catch a local bus to Shangri-la (every 20 minutes, 2 hours, ¥35 each. Feb 2015)

From Shangrila: You can pick any bus to Kunming, Lijiang and Dali, there is a bus at least every hour. About 30y.

If you are heading north to Zhongdian (Shangrila) or coming from there, there is an alternative road via Haba. It is a longer but quieter with fantastic mountain landscapes. The tarmac is very good for bikes. You can think about doing some camping along this road:

To Haba from Walnut Garden: Sean's guesthouse can organise a minibus (¥180-200) to Haba along a scenic road (1.5hrs). From Haba, there is a daily bus to Shangrila, then.

Walnut Garden to Daju If you are in Guesthouse as Sean's, that means you are in the middle of the trek. Walk down the low road 3 hours past a small town (三坝乡; Sanba village) near the Yangtze river. Near the river you will see paths across the Yangtze river leading down to the river itself, with a shed and real staircase heading down to the river. Roads are constantly changing here and being constructed, there is currently a gentle car dirt trail down to the river, opt for this option rather then the goat trail. Better is to ask locals, even if you don't know chinese, just ask for "Daju" and point opposite bank of the river. They will show you how get down to ferry pier.

First ferry departure at 10AM, than every few minutes. The price depends on how many people is on the board and if you know some chinese. The most locals is on the first ferry - cheaper!!! (5Y per person), later could be 20Y!

Daju to Lijiang If you are coming from Qiaotou over whole gorge or from Sean's of Walnut garden, you got to the river bank with ferry. After you cross the ferry, there might be two buses a day departuring to Lijiang, first at 1PM, 30Y(?) per person. If you arrive soon, you can walk a bit to forward Daju because bus will stop by every guesthouse or shop on the way through village. The village is really long! (not sure where it starts and finish. there is just a lot of houses by the road) When you get on the bus, it will stop a lot and soon will be full of locals going just a few kilometers with goods, vegetable or whatever from place to place.

Along with a bus there should be a private minivan bus hustler. From here they take you on a road back to Lijiang, about 3 hours.

Lijiang to Daju For some reason there is no regular bus departuring from Lijiang bus station to Daju. You can find minivan who will take you there and you can do trek from opposite side and finish in Qiaotou.

Qiaotou to Dali Jane's guesthouse can arrange for one of the busses that leaves from Shangri La going to Dali to stop on the main road going through Qiaotou; ¥80 4 hours (Nov 2014)

Most of travellers will come to the Gorge from Kunming, Dali, Lijiang or Zhongdian (renamed as Shangri-La after 2001) and will leave the Gorge either the usual way (going back to Qiaotou to go further on to Zhongdian or to Lijiang) or explore either Haba & Baishuitai villages or the village of Daju on the other side of the Yangzi river. It is also possible to reach the Gorge from Daju village and trek it North to South.

Coming from Dali 
If you intend to go from Dali old town (or even Xiaguan) to the Gorge without stopping in Lijiang, you are then supposed to get on a bus going to Shangri-La and getting down at Qiaotou. It takes 5 to 6 hours and the bus goes along the old road through JianChuan. Depending on the season, you might have to pay full fare (to Shangri-La, so 70 yuan) if buses are full or 50 yuan if you lucky. Several buses depart par day, all of them in the morning (latest one around 12), local bus ticket offices in Dali old town will tell you precisely. 

From Lijiang 

Please accept our apologies, the website is under reconstruction and rewriting. Come back soon!

From Zhongdian (Shangri-La) 

Please accept our apologies, the website is under reconstruction and rewriting. Come back soon!

From Kunmming 

Please accept our apologies, the website is under reconstruction and rewriting. Come back soon!

Leaving the Gorge for the next step 


For the travellers who would like to avoid spending or wasting to much time after the hike, it is advised to reach the Tina's Guesthouse before 5pm at night, so you still have time to take a minivan the staff of the guesthouse will arrange for you (count 60 to 80 yuan per person) and so be back at the entrance of the Gorge, Qiaotou, early enough to catch a bus going to Shangri-La or one going back to Lijiang. The Tina's guesthouse has been organising recently a taxi-service to Lijiang. Check more on the spot 

To catch a bus going directly to Dali Old town and Xiaguan, it is a bit more tricky as less buses are available and they are sometimes full. If you nevertheless want to give it a try, best it is to be back in Qiaotou before 2pm and you can go the muslim (Hui zu) small restaurant at the main cross in the South part of the village (check google map on the right) where buses are stopping for passengers to get on board or disembark. 

There is alsways the option to hire a minivan but do note the driver will depart only when the minivan is full or if you pay the remaining seats. A full minivan can hire to go Shangri-La for 200 yuan, up to you to negociate better, the ride is 2 hours long. You are more likely to find other passengers (lots of locals) willing to go to Lijiang, count 25 to 30 yuan per person and 3 to 4 hours. 

Going to Haba Village and BaiShuiTai 


If you have time and want to escape the touristic flow, you could consider going on the other side of the Haba Mountain where the villages of Haba and Baishuitai are located. 
Public buses or minivan could drive from Tina's guesthouse (or any other place by Tina's have the interest of gathering most of minivan inside the Gorge) to the village of Haba. Count 200 yuan to hire a minivan and a bit less than 2 hours to reach Haba Village. There, several guesthouses exist but one is attracting most of travellers - the Haba Xueshan Kezhan - as it is also a good spot for mountaineering (several climbers summit the 5396m peak every year). 

In Haba vicinity, you can walk in Naxi, Yi and Hui (muslim) villages or decide to hike up to Black Lake (4200m high). Ask the female boss (laobanya) from teh Haba Xueshan Guesthouse to bring you up (count on 200 to 300 yuan per person). This is a demanding hike (1700 meters up) and only experienced people with good equipment (starting from teh shoes) should go fo it as it is sometines muddy and always snowy close to the lake. 
Other options consist in hiking up to the Base Camp (4800-4900m) or other places, ask the staff at the guesthouse but please do remember that this kind of hike are potentially dangerous, local guides are rather locals who know the way rather than real guides waiting for you and helping in case, no rescue exist in the mountain and local people will no risk their lives to save yours! That being said... 

From Haba Village, you can also trek to the village of BaiShuiTai, famous for its white water terraces. The boss of Haba Xushan Kezhan should be able to guide you. Otherwise, you can consider taking a public bus (one or two per day) going to the village itself (count 45 minutes by minivan). 
From Baishuitai on, public buses will bring you further on a stunning mountain road until the Bita Lake and finally Shangri-La. 

Daju's vicinity
When the Gorge opened to foreign backpackers and Tina's guesthouse was less famous, travellers where starting hiking from Qiaotou and walking until Daju (or the reverse way). It gave its name to the Half Way Guesthouse (which is not half way anymore as most travellers stop at Tina's). From Daju, you can reach Lijiang by car. 
To cross the Yangzi river, two boats (one old, one new) are available. To find them, ask Tina's or go to Walnut Garden village (also called Walnut Grove, Hetaoyuan in Chinese pinyin) and ask the several guesthouses there. 

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